the VOA Special English Economics Report.
Last week, Bill Gates retired from full-time
work at the world's biggest computer software company, Microsoft. He will remain chairman of the company he
established with Paul Allen in nineteen seventy-five.
Gates leaves Microsoft at a time of change in the computing industry. Microsoft grew at a time when personal
computers, or PCs, were replacing big mainframe computers as the main computing
tools. He showed that huge profits
could be made in software as PCs increasingly were found "on every desk
and in every home."
on, Microsoft understood the importance of the "network effect." That is, software is the kind of product
that increases in value as more people buy and use it.
Internet software threatens to replace PC-based software. Devices like "smart phones"
connect people to the Internet. Google
has become a leader in Internet Web searching and advertising. Microsoft has struggled to change with the
new computer environment. Its efforts
to sell music and its latest operating system, Vista, have not been big
successes. And an attempt this year to
buy Yahoo for over forty-seven billion dollars failed.
last several years, Bill Gates has slowly given control of Microsoft to
others. In two thousand, he gave the
job of chief executive officer to Steve Ballmer, a friend of his since their
years at Harvard University. Mister
Ballmer has been with Microsoft since nineteen eighty.
it is hard to overestimate the influence of Bill Gates on computing. He developed the business model that put the
Windows operating system on about ninety percent of the world's one billion
PCs. Microsoft now has almost ninety
At fifty-two years old, Bill Gates is
currently the third richest man in the world. He is worth about fifty-eight
billion dollars. He remains Microsoft's
Gates will now spend most of his time working at his charity organization, the
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The
foundation is the world's largest charity with over thirty-seven billion
dollars. It provides money for health,
education and other projects, mostly in developing countries.
that's the VOA Special English Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. Transcripts and archives of our programs are
at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve